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Pharmaceutical Competitive Intelligence: How to Be Proactive

The pharmaceutical industry is vast, encompassing not only the companies tasked with the discovery and development of new drugs but also those dealing with the marketing and delivery of existing ones. And because of the wide variety of pharmaceutical businesses that exist, as well as their vast number, the competition within the world of medicinal drugs is always fierce and always ongoing; companies will always need more than a good product or service to succeed. 

Quality market research, of course, is great insurance for any business endeavor, but we here at Research America believe that in order to thrive within today’s highly competitive pharmaceutical landscape, companies need reliable and actionable intelligence to help guide important business decisions now and down the line if the research is to be done correctly. Here’s what you need to know about pharmaceutical competitive intelligence, including how it differs from standard market research and how you can be strategic in getting it:

Pharmaceutical competitive intelligence is a type of market research that focuses on business entities and their behaviors rather than consumers. It’s a methodical process involving the deliberate collection and analysis of competitor (not consumer) data in such a way that actionable insights result. While traditional market research is similar in construct, competitive intelligence moves beyond facts and figures in order to generate a more well-developed understanding of a specific market environment so that a company can secure a competitive advantage.

In a market where competition drives innovation, staying informed of competitor strengths (as well as weaknesses) is one of the only ways for competing pharma and biotech companies to maximize their own capabilities and strategize for their own success. It’s an arduous task, especially since ongoing research, changing regulatory directives, and evolving medical care needs constantly conspire to add new competitors and new products to the pharmaceutical playing field over and over again. Just about the time a company has had the chance to gather and review competitor data, the game changes, and any newly-chosen strategy for playing becomes obsolete. To be truly actionable, pharmaceutical competitive intelligence needs to be proactive instead of reactive. Here are our suggestions:

Pharmaceutical competitive intelligence isn’t something that can be gathered via a schedule or within a specific timeframe. If you’re penciling in time for your company to search for competitive data, you’re missing a lot of valuable information. Continually review your research priorities and commit to a sustained intel pursuit that supports your main one(s) at any given time — whether it’s improving your marketing practices, closing a deal, better satisfying customers, or some other objective!

Skip the manual compilation of data and focus on automated options that allow real-time data collection. Pharmaceutical competitive intelligence is only actionable when it’s timely. Look for software and other tools that can digitally harness the information you need without a surplus of human labor. You’ll save time and money.

Even companies that seem to have it all now face future threats. Think about possible scenarios for the future and start planning for how you’d react to them. Then, if pharmaceutical competitive intelligence actually reveals the imagined scenario down the line, your company will be even more prepared and able to act.

Finally, keep all stakeholders fully informed of your pharmaceutical competitive intelligence strategies, ask for their input as well as concisely share your findings. Active and ongoing communication with all members of your organization keeps them interested and engaged as well as excited about the process rather than feeling deterred about the undertaking of being proactive. Pharmaceutical competitive intelligence should always be described as a contributor to positive change so that it is seen as a catalyst for opportunity rather than a harbinger of crisis.

The pharmaceutical industry is large and diverse. Competitive intelligence is one of the best tools for companies to utilize if they want to maximize the profitability of their business decisions as well as stay ahead of competitors. To learn more about the value and proper use of pharmaceutical competitive intelligence and how to proactively harness its power for future success, please contact our team at Research America.

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